Thursday, December 31, 2009

A New Year's Eve Party

When we first had children, we struggled with what to do on New Year's Eve. Money was tight, and the ability to last in a pleasant way the night through with younger folk was a challenge. I took the 20 dollars we had and went and purchased the kids' favorites: boxed mac-n-cheese, Ramen noodles, a dessert I can't recall...I think it was Jello, and rented some family favorites from the family plan at the rental store. I remember The Apple Dumpling Gang in particular. With a happy, "this is a party" flair, we strung lights, set the table nice, played music and had a great time. It seemed to fit for us.

It has changed as the kids have grown. Now we watch an annual movie marathon of Lord of the Rings, the food list has shrimp, bubbly grape juice and mini hot dogs on it, we play games, I get the house clean and pretty, and at some point around 5, I'll turn on some jazzy music, and announce "Let the party begin!"

It's always been my heart to learn how to "make our fun happen" and I've found creativity, elbow grease, attitude and love to go very far in my loved ones' lives and it brings the fun right back to my doorstep.

I always share things that I have wondered how other family's have done. This is just one way of course. I'm looking forward to tonight. Ok, maybe it's because I get to hear some of my favorite lines and we'll be quoting them for days! :)

May we find moments to make merry and remember with gladness! Happy New Year's!

Monday, December 28, 2009

Unless the Lord builds the house

"In other words, if created things are seen and handled as gifts of God and as mirrors of his glory, they need not be occasions of idolatry-if our delight in them is always also a delight in their Maker." John Piper, Desiring God, pg. 143

Psalm 127
A Pilgrim Song of Solomon
1-2 If God doesn't build the house, the builders only build shacks.
If God doesn't guard the city, the night watchman might as well nap.
It's useless to rise early and go to bed late,
and work your worried fingers to the bone.
Don't you know he enjoys giving rest to those he loves?
3-5 Don't you see that children are God's best gift?
the fruit of the womb his generous legacy?
Like a warrior's fistful of arrows are the children of a vigorous youth.
Oh, how blessed are you parents, with your quivers full of children!
Your enemies don't stand a chance against you; you'll sweep them right off your doorstep.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Sleep in Heavenly Peace


Giving over the cares. Asking, whispering, crying, listening.


Refusing what is not Him.

Love new every morning.

A Presence near.

A vision clear.

Loved, and then loving.

Forgiven, and then to forgive.

Under a protective wing.



Letting go.




Divine peace.

All is calm.
Sleep in heavenly Peace.
Jesus Christ, our Saviour is born.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

What Shall I Give?

Psalm 116:12 What can I offer the Lord for all he has done for me? 13 I will lift up the cup of salvation and praise the Lord’s name for saving me.

I leaned into his arm while in the Christmas checkout line.
"Remember how nervous and anxious we used to get when we would Christmas shop? So many things out there that the kids would love, but we couldn't afford it?"

He smiled, remembering with me. Now we know that fads come and go. Interests come and go. Even the little ones will love their boxes and paper.
It's the memories we smile at.
Jake yelling with hysteria at an action figure.
Hannah's Border Collie Christmas.
Ornaments eaten by the big dog.
The dalmatian stuffed animals because they loved 101 Dalmatians.
We are more at peace shopping this year.

Sophie sneaking off with the nativity set. It's ok with me :)
Bella eating a gingerbread ornament. Squirrel becomes a Scottish Terrier.
It's ok with me.
Little girl taking her time to work through a workbook. It's ok with me.

My older children, public high school choir concert, with their buddy Bannon. It's ok with me.

Monday, December 14, 2009


Our hearts grow tender with childhood memories and love of kindred, and we are better throughout the year for having, in spirit, become a child again at Christmas-time. -Laura Ingalls Wilder

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Monday, December 7, 2009

Look Around

Tidbits of our weekend we discussed by email this morning. My husband, my confidante, and shoulder to rest and lean on ends his note to me:

"Have a relaxing day and enjoy the kids enjoying the season. I love you."

A few of the pictures pictures, of me enjoying the kids, enjoying the season.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

We headed west to my brother and SIL's home sweet home for our Thanksgiving Day celebration. My husband, myself, children, and a student from Jeremy's school piled in the truck and traveled for a 3.5 hour drive. We were smushed, but the drive wasn't too bad. :) All parents know what I mean by just smiling don't you? "How much longer?" "Are we almost there?" "I have to go to the bathroom." Oh yes, we had all that and got to practice the art of being patient as our legs and arms collided, and voices joined together in an enclosed vehicle.

But it was worth it.

Bannon and Reese
Jake and his cherished drumstick

Enjoying a traditional Thanksgiving meal

And this is posted with a smile. There is a little person just out of sight who was not real happy at this moment. :)

Isn't he so cute?

Audrey, the camera inquisitor.

This child was a bit beside herself, and was singing, wiggling, barely containing her excitement as her cousin serenaded us with songs we love so much. And this pig in her arms, is now in our possesion :) It is almost REAL.
Singing You Believed in Me

And so Thanksgiving 2009 has passed, spent with family, a friend, plus all the bigger and little people brought into the world by the married people :) Everyone passed the time watching movies, playing video and computer games, playing dress up, playing...well I don't know what. That is after all a lot of children to follow after. But it was mostly blissful for them. I promise you that. It was loud and busy, BUT fun.
Having all my children home for the holiday, and traveling in close quarters has given opportunities to work on living together when things don't always seem fair or perfect for our comfort. Teaching my kids to get along again has been full of lessons for me personally. If I don't get it...then how can I expect them to?
Romans 12: 9 Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good.
(in another translation it says "without hypocrisy") and
verse 21
Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.
It is so important for me, and each of my children to be soaking in His goodness and love, so that we have the same to give away to one another. Overcoming evil with good tends to go against our flesh. But His ways are good ways. I love the fruit of His ways. The wonderful thing is, knowing that as we surrender to Him in all things, He fills up the circumstances with His love, His will, His kingdom. That's what I call "relaxing in my faith." :)
So, I hope to be an overcomer. May they learn too.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Thanksgiving Hands

This was a craft we did when my first three were in their early years. Hannah came home yesterday and said, "Oh...I remember doing this!"

We raided the cupboards for all sorts of dried things (popcorn, crackers, beans, rice, marshmallows, and cranberries), drew some turkeys, got out the glue, and bing! fun! :)

The pieces of dried materials are best kept in bowls, but it is still messy.

Monday, November 23, 2009

"Worship with My Life"

Psalm 143:8 Let me hear of your unfailing love each morning, for I am trusting you. Show me where to walk, for I give myself to you.

Joining with the hearts of other worshippers, expressing my heart's thankfulness to my Father, seemed to be right to start Thanksgiving week.

1. The priceless gift of friendship that loves a person for who they are...and even in spite of who they are.

2. The example of children who love, forgive, and live without thought of tomorrow.

3. turkey dinner with a friend, warm fire, Christmas movies, Waltons

4. a little man with a heart to serve

5. A man to love who gives in so many unspoken ways. God sees, God knows, and that's what matters.

6. warm bodies that fill my mornings with hugs

7. The Lover of my soul who works even when I have lost the strength.

8. beautiful starry November skies, seen as I lay down at nighttime.

9. a loving God that is ever near every time I call

10. right words, at the right time

and to see more, plus the songwriter who began it all go here:

holy experience

Thursday, November 12, 2009

With All We Got

After chasing Bella off the stairs for the nth time the other night, Jeremy, smiling, reminded me that 1.5 year olds are good for mama's getting their exercise. Sitting and blogging is...shhhh....relaxing! :) The pictures are quiet and bring back the beautiful moments of the between the busyness of the moments.... that happen and make life interesting, challenging, and keeps this mama on her toes! I wouldn't trade it though. My life and very person is changed in all the right areas. It also shows me how far I need to grow.

Abby putting together pattern blocks.

Bella stacking cans.

Sophie helped to make her birthday cake. She has, ever since she has been physically able to do it, pulled up a chair or stool alongside to whomever is cooking to be a help any way she can :) Even on her birthday.

While I was up to my elbows making the pizza dough, Bella was getting into the baking cabinet....and dumped the baking soda on the floor...

and walked in it making footprints across the kitchen floor!

Bella is kinda famous in our home right now. She is cute and ready to hug and play with any friendly person. We all relax when she lays her head on our shoulders. It's wonderful.

And Sophie obviously eats her up. We took streams of pictures of Sophie on her birthday. It was all so magical to her. Simple needs, simple delights. Hanging her balloons caused her to dance and jump.

Her requested dinner of pizza, salad, and juice in the SPECIAL cup.

One of her gifts was her own tablet of paper and fingerpaints. After the cake, singing, and present opening, she and Daddy sat at the table alone, being creative and enjoying the squish of fingerpaints.

The day finished with tired bodies, who didn't nap, crashing into bed without difficulty. Myself included.